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Transforming History

A New Curriculum for a Planetary Culture

William Irwin Thompson

160 pp.  

Lindisfarne Books


Published:  April 2009


Education is currently a foremost concern for many Americans. Education, however, is about more than teaching children skills for earning a living and how to function in life. It is really a means of transmitting both a culture and a heritage.

William Irwin Thompson, one of today’s most innovative interdisciplinary thinkers, talks about how to transform a cultural legacy in the course of transmitting it. His visionary approach takes education far beyond the bland, watered-down curricula so many students face today in public and private schools.

Thompson offers us a mind-rattling tour of our potential as human beings, from the Gilgamesh epic of 2000 B.C.E. to Disney, popular music, current politics and social crises, and beyond. He not only presents a far-reaching system of knowledge and teaching, but also suggests how we can stimulate the best and healthiest patterns of development in our children and teenagers.

Transforming History will enlighten today’s educators and anyone concerned with improving our legacy and our children’s place in it.


One: Cultural History and Complex Dynamical Systems
Two: Transforming History
Appendix: An Outline of the Curriculum

  • “A brilliant and original work that challenges us to rethink the evolution of human societies and consciousness, and to craft an education for our children that reflects human history.” —Arthur Zajonc, author of Meditation as Contemplative Inquiry and Catching the Light

  • “Read Thompson, a silver thrush among pterodactyls.” —Christopher Lehmann-Haupt, New York Times

  • “The author is billed as a humanities professor ... in fact, anyone can see that he is some kind of mage.” —Charles Eliot, Time Magazine

  • “William Irwin Thompson is the most profound, exciting and versatile interpreter of cultural trends at work today. Each of his books is a further extension of his vision.” —Richard A. Falk, Princeton University, author of The Heart of Philosophy

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